At least for now. At the last BOS meeting, we got an update on the effort to fix the road and get it accepted as a town road.
The current residents of this 20 something year old development had petitioned the town to lay out their private road, repair it, and get it accepted as a town road. They were asking that the cost be bonded by the town to be repaid by betterment assessments on the 42 or so lots in the subdivision. The Selectmen voted to do so, contingent on not receiving a petition against the action within the statutory ten day period.
Wednesday night the town said it had indeed received such a petition from the developer and owner of 22 existing unsold lots. There was some discussion as to whether the developer holds a single interest or 22 interests, as there is some ambiguity in the literal reading of the statute, but the town’s attorney has advised that 22 is the correct interpretation.
It was then disclosed that the developer has subsequently submitted a new petition to lay out the road, but without passing the cost on to the property owners through betterment assessments. In other words, asking that the town as a whole fix what is currently a private road. The Selectmen voted to not act on that petition. I suspect we will be hearing more on that.
Residents of the development say the developer is currently responsible for maintenance of the road, and have sued B&H Development.
The road is in terrible condition. There are large bumps caused by frost heaved boulders under the surface, and it is difficult if not impossible to plow effectively. I won’t go there again unless I’m driving my Jeep.
You have to have some sympathy for the homeowners who are affected by this deteriorating situation, and it has been pointed out that the town bears some responsibility in that our approval of the subdivision and return of the construction bond was a failure on our part to protect the interests of what became taxable property owners in town. But the other side of the coin is that the developer would be handed a windfall of substantial increase in value of his remaining lots if the town fixed the road at it’s own expense.
We haven’t heard the end of this story.
There are many roads in town, including mine, that would benefit by being taken over by the taxpayers. What special circumstances exist to justify this extravagance in the case of Winnipesaukee Drive?
First off, I’m not advocating any position here, just trying to report on the issues and what happened. To be clear, the residents of Winnipesaukee Drive asked the town to lay out the road and rebuild it to town specifications at the residents own expense. They wanted the project to be bonded over ten years which they intend to repay, with interest, through betterment assessments. Zero cost to the town. That’s the official way to get something like this done and it’s all spelled out in state law. If you want to get a better feel for what special circumstances exist to prompt the residents into this action, just take a ride around Winnipesaukee Drive next time you are heading south on Rt 28.